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Multilingual organizations as 'linguascapes': Negotiating the position of English through discursive practices

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  • Steyaert, Chris
  • Ostendorp, Anja
  • Gaibrois, Claudine
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    Abstract

    To address the complexity of multilingual communication, this paper applies a discursive approach to analyze how people account for the ways that specific languages are used in multilingual companies. Through our discourse analysis, we identify six different ways of accounting for language use. Further, we map the various tensions between these accounts through which we can understand how the rise of English alters the discursive negotiation in two different organizational contexts. Inspired by Appadurai's understanding of "globalization from below", we suggest the term linguascape to conceptualize how the flow of languages that cross a specific organizational space is discursively mediated.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090951610000428
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of World Business.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 270-278

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:46:y:2011:i:3:p:270-278

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    Related research

    Keywords: Negotiated multilingualism Discourse analysis Linguascape Englishization Globalization from below;

    References

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    1. Yadong Luo & Oded Shenkar, 2006. "The multinational corporation as a multilingual community: Language and organization in a global context," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(3), pages 321-339, May.
    2. Marschan, Rebecca & Welch, Denice & Welch, Lawrence, 1997. "Language: The forgotten factor in multinational management," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 591-598, October.
    3. Janssens, Maddy & Lambert, José & Steyaert, Chris, 2004. "Developing language strategies for international companies: the contribution of translation studies," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 414-430, November.
    4. Marschan-Piekkari, Rebecca & Welch, Denice & Welch, Lawrence, 1999. "In the shadow: the impact of language on structure, power and communication in the multinational," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 421-440, August.
    5. Eero Vaara & Janne Tienari & Rebecca Piekkari & Risto Säntti, 2005. "Language and the Circuits of Power in a Merging Multinational Corporation," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 595-623, 05.
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    Cited by:
    1. Klitmøller, Anders & Lauring, Jakob, 2013. "When global virtual teams share knowledge: Media richness, cultural difference and language commonality," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 398-406.
    2. Harzing, Anne-Wil & Pudelko, Markus, 2013. "Language competencies, policies and practices in multinational corporations: A comprehensive review and comparison of Anglophone, Asian, Continental European and Nordic MNCs," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 87-97.

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